Everyone knows GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is deeply involved in product development decisions at General Motors in North America. But how much does Lutz influence the cars that GM's international units are planning?
"I'm not involved to the same depth because there's less to do," he said. "Whether you're looking at our Australian operations or Latin America - which generally follows the European system - the way engineering interfaces with design and the direction senior management gives to design is much more what I was used to at Chrysler, Ford and BMW.
"I think maybe [General Motors] in the USA had wandered a little bit away from what I consider the right way of doing it. But that doesn't mean I don't visit our affiliates."
Indeed, he's happy to share his opinion with GM's product developers around the world and its various global alliance partners, even if it isn't always positive.
"An alliance partner related to me that Mr. Lutz termed one of their designs 'interesting,' " said GM CEO Rick Wagoner at the recent Geneva auto show.
Added Lutz: "Like the Japanese, I try my best to be polite."